Sunday, June 24, 2018

Free Wheeling

 It's time to get serious about the Tour de Fleece. I need some free wheels and this project needed to be done.

 I was plying the last of it when I realized I had more on one bobbin than the other so I used my ball winder to ply from the inside and outside of a ball made from the leftovers.

 It usually works like a charm but not this time. I just had too much already on that bobbin. The whole thing exploded.

 I used my lazy kate for this job and I have to say I loved it. I almost pitched it a few weeks ago because two of my wheels have attached kates and I never used it. It really is better than plying off your wheel.

 Ta dah. It was a mess at the finish but it is done. This was a three year spin. Finley was a Shetland fleece I washed ages ago for the Tour. Now I have to figure out what he will be.

 I've got just over twelve ounces of it. Like most Shetland, it's not terribly soft. It's on the lines of Jamieson's. It just might get dyed for a Fair Isle something or other. I'll have to do some homework on it.

 Now to clear off the Ladybug. I've had this fiber on it forever. It's so pretty. I love how it looks as fiber.

 It's not spinning up quite so pretty.

No matter. It has to be done. I want to start something new on July the 7th and I don't have a minute to spare. Gotta keep peddling.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Color My World

 I'm still painting swatches-flat washes, gradient washes, variegated washes. I've been testing transparency and opaqueness.

 I've got new paints. I'm such a sucker for paints in tins. Cindy recommended these and I love them. I love the sound the tins make when you open them. Weird, I know.

 I bought these Kuretake Gansai paints a while ago but I've been afraid to use them. They are so pretty. They may just be my "pet" paints in my vast watercolor collection. Well, maybe not the metallics at the bottom. I think I may have to try those soon.

 I've been using Craftsy and You Tube for inspiration and instruction but I've also added some texts. These books are full of exercises that are going to keep me busy forever.

 I'm still flower doodling when the spirit moves me.

 I did try some "real" painting but as you can see by all the notes on them that I was not happy with the product. I like this process though. I find critiquing my own work this way very satisfying. It must be the teacher in me.

 I'm ready for lots more work. I went to buy some of these little notebooks and couldn't find them anywhere anymore so I panicked and ordered a bunch online.

 On my failed quest to find watercolor books I did find these pricey pencils on sale at AC Moore's for only $10. Since the first of the year, I've been keeping a journal and they are just the thing I need for a quick sketch.

And look at that. I was making dinner the other night and I look over and The Mister was helping himself to my paints. He paints models in the basement all day with serious paint and thought the watercolors were fun. They are.

Friday, June 22, 2018

It Seams Like Summer

 This is the last of the wonky flowers I am free motioning on Daddio's Thangle quilt. After all the things I tried to mark them with, the pounce and some plain old chalk worked best.

 See? It didn't really matter though how well I marked it.

 When I got to the machine it was a free for all. Those are some really wonky flowers. I need to figure out how to support the quilt better. It kept pulling itself out of wack as I tried to sew a straight line.

 Dear Jane is still happening but is moving slowly. I've lost my light. The trees filled in and we are in permanent shade now. Those tiny seams are hard to see even using every light I own. Having said that, I have gotten two and a half blocks done.

 I worked up the nerve to figure out the first of the blocks for the Saltwater mini quilt I wanted for a summer display. They are quite labor intensive.

See what I mean? That's one petal. I need eight for each flower and there are four flowers and that's not counting the centers which are even worse. I may have this done-by next summer.

Thursday, June 21, 2018


 When I am not watching the World Cup, I am watching the news. The contrast is dizzying.

 I've donated and signed up for everything out there to be a part of the solution but I am still sad that we are where we are. None of this makes sense. I am tired of people saying this is not who we are-apparently it is.

 I was going to do a post showing all the beautiful faces of the wonderful immigrant children I have had the pleasure to work with over my years as a teacher and tell you how they found themselves in a classroom in the suburbs of Washington DC. Instead, I am exhausted by the ugly back and forth, so I'm going to show you the flowers in the pots outside my door.

 The daily thunderstorms are taking their toll but they are alive which is more than I usually expect at this time of year.

Well, hello there. The Mister brought him home a few months ago and I had forgotten all about him. A little gnome without a home. Fitting.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

90 Minutes

 There are two 45 minute halves in a soccer game.

 I listen to the first half of each game while I go about my business and then sit down for the second half of each. There have been three games a day so I've gotten a lot threaded on the loom watching them.

 Brickless is this big now.

I'm past the heel on my sock-finally.

 I've also got my floor stand set up by the TV with my little sheep sampler on it. Mr. Cheviot just needs his legs and he will be a done deal.

And to think this is a year that we go right from the World Cup to the Tour de France. I won't have to get out of my pajamas until August.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Busy Work

 When I started my World Cup knitting I thought I would be sitting and knitting the games away.

 Then I looked at the calendar and holy crickets! I have cards to make and soap to wrap. July is right around the corner.

 The cards I wanted to send with the July giveaway are pretty labor intensive. All those backgrounds, grass and moon are hand painted-or should I say hand inked.

All the paper is inked with several colors of Tim Holtz's amazing new oxide inks. They blend beautifully. I love working with them.

 Ta dah....11 games later and I have 24 cards made. That's how many people usually sign up for soap give or take a few.

 As much as I love the inks, I am not loving my new big Tim Holtz stamping platform.

 It works okay with the little stamps but I already had a Mini Misti that did a great job with that.

 I wanted it for those new BIG stamps that everybody is using. My last kit has a real whopper.

 I've done everything I know to do but I still only get a partial print. Grrrrr.......

On a happier note, The Mister needed two birthday cards this month and he made these on Saturday. Cute, huh?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Bits and Pieces

The Mister went to play golf all day so as soon as the door closed I dug out a project I've been itching to get to.

 This little mini quilt scares me to death. I will have to have all my wits about me to pull it off.

 The cutting was intense. Lots of little numbers with fractions I've never cut before. This is far as I got before my nerves gave out on me. I'll have to think about all that crazy piecing another day.